Corporate legal and IT departments find alignment with Microsoft and Intapp

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According to KPMG’s 2021 Global Legal Department Benchmarking Survey, 78% of legal departments expect increased workloads — without increased headcounts. Thankfully, investing in management and collaboration technology can help corporate legal teams alleviate workload mismatch by increasing efficiency across both legal and IT departments.

In early 2022, the Association of Corporate Counsel found that around one-third of corporate legal teams intend to invest in document management and workflow tools, and one-quarter want to acquire new collaboration management and matter management technology. However, three core obstacles often prevent in-house legal departments from successfully implementing these tools: tight budgets, strict timelines, and crucial security concerns.

With the right technology in place, your in-house legal department can avoid these challenges to help your team efficiently take on more tasks while avoiding burnout.

Cost challenges

Most corporate legal teams require better document management, matter management, and collaboration capabilities than they currently have. Some insist that digitizing legal operations and offering a “legal front door” — where clients can request advice or submit work online — is the best way for teams to connect with and serve their clients. However, unless your legal team has increased its budget, it can be difficult to justify paying for new digital tools.

When faced with this situation, in-house legal and IT teams usually opt for one of the following strategies:

  • Do nothing — Not investing in new technology means your department won’t have to worry about its budget, but it also means that you can’t digitize and improve management and collaboration processes.
  • Replace your legacy system — If your legal department already uses some sort of dedicated point solution, you might be able to replace it with a more affordable, enhanced, efficient system. In fact, some companies ultimately save money by adopting cloud-based tools, since they no longer need to address the costs associated with maintaining on-premises technology.
  • Add a new system — If your legal department doesn’t currently have a dedicated system for document management, matter management, and team collaboration, you may want to put aside some of your budget to invest in one. Keep various factors in mind — such as support, storage, and other costs beyond licensing and services — when pricing systems.

What many legal departments fail to realize is they have a fourth option: taking advantage of their company’s current investment in Microsoft 365.

Cost solutions

Corporate legal teams need a single source of truth that meets all their requirements. A recent KPMG article revealed: “As 2025 gets closer and digitalization of legal functions continues, organizations may increasingly eschew high-cost, stand-alone technologies that serve specific legal niches. Instead, they’ll look to larger providers for solutions that mesh holistically with their broader technology ecosystem.”

Most organizations already use Microsoft 365, with an often-substantial existing investment in applications and technologies that can streamline document and matter management, as well as internal and external collaboration. By leveraging the world-class platform your company already uses, you can ease budget challenges significantly.

Corporate legal teams can also implement Intapp technology to further enhance their Microsoft experience. Intapp Documents for Corporate Legal — part of the OnePlace Collaboration & Content suite — is purpose-built for in-house corporate legal teams, and offers key capabilities to help manage legal-specific use cases. The software is built on Microsoft 365, allowing teams of all sizes to accomplish specific legal operations without sacrificing the usability, features, and functionality of their current Microsoft 365 investment.

Time challenges

When searching for a tool that meets all the needs of your legal and IT departments, both teams will need to work together to discuss technology evaluations, procurement, and implementation. Ironically, both teams are usually too busy with their own projects, and can’t find time to discuss the very technology that could help lighten their workload.

Time solutions

By leveraging existing Microsoft 365 capabilities, legal and IT teams can greatly reduce the time commitments associated with evaluation, procurement, implementation processes, and change management. Your IT team can avoid worrying about implementing or maintaining a new, additional system, saving them time in both the short term and long run.

Organizations that implement OnePlace Collaboration & Content to enhance existing Microsoft 365 investments can similarly avoid time-consuming deployment and adoption periods: The software serves as an application layer on top of the Microsoft platform, so users can easily leverage the benefits of Intapp Documents for Corporate Legal — including preconfigured corporate legal templates and workflows — all through the familiar interface of Microsoft Outlook and other Microsoft 365 applications. Your team can leverage all that OnePlace Collaboration & Content has to offer, without having to learn a whole new interface.

Security challenges

Introducing new information repositories or sharing information outside the organization causes significant apprehension for both IT and legal departments. In-house legal teams often need to collaborate on matters by sharing documents and other information with outside parties. However, when legal departments consider document- or matter-management solutions that store information outside of the organization, IT teams often either strike the proposal or raise serious concerns — especially when it comes restricting access and managing content controls. Legal and IT teams both need technology that perfectly balances functionality with security.

Security solutions

Because Microsoft continually enhances its security and collaboration protocols, it’s a popular platform choice among organizations worldwide. If your company currently uses Microsoft 365, your IT team has already vetted Microsoft’s ability to deliver secure services, and already set up the platform to adhere to your corporate policies and procedures.

OnePlace Collaboration & Content users can rest assured that any policy changes won’t cause discrepancies between Intapp Documents for Corporate Legal and Microsoft 365. When using OnePlace Collaboration & Content technology, all confidential information is stored in your organization’s own Microsoft environment, and continues to be managed to your security and accessibility standards. Thus, your teams can easily make any changes without having to manage disparate systems, saving you on time, while keeping you secure.

Maintaining information within your own Microsoft 365 tenant also reduces the costs associated with external storage. Many legal departments report large annual expenditures from document management vendors; but with Intapp solutions, you don’t have to employ a third-party vendor. Intapp software stores system and matter data on your existing Microsoft SharePoint servers (which your firm is already paying for), so you don’t have to worry about additional expensive storage.

By combining your Microsoft investment with OnePlace Collaboration & Content, your corporate legal and IT teams can successfully align on security while benefiting from the powerful capabilities of both systems.

Learn more about how Intapp software can help your legal and IT teams align to fully leverage your company’s Microsoft investment.

Written by:

Kevin Bley

Client Development Director, North America

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